Martella's Pharmacy earns walk-off victory over Mainline Pharmacy in JCBL opener

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Jun. 2—After being held scoreless for four consecutive innings, the Martella's Pharmacy offense came through in the biggest spot possible.

Trailing by one run going to the bottom of the seventh, newcomer Tyler Alexander tied the game with an RBI single.

Two batters later, Bryce McCleester drew a bases-loaded walk that pushed across the game-winning run as Martella's defeated Mainline Pharmacy 7-6 in the Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League opener on Wednesday at Sargent's Stadium at the Point.

"It always feels good to get the first one," Martella's manager Kerry Pfeil said. "I really have to give a lot of credit to Tyler Alexander for creating chaos in the seventh inning. He was able to come through and get that hit to bring the veteran guys up to the plate. They were patient and got solid at-bats."

After trailing 5-0 through two innings, Mainline Pharmacy scored five unanswered runs before going ahead in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Seita Shiratoni.

In the bottom half, Jared Dowey reached on an error with one out and moved to third on back-to-back wild pitches. It was then that Alexander, who came in to replace an injured Jake Felton in the third inning, stroked a base hit to left field to tie the game.

Alexander said his single made up for his first plate appearance, in which he struck out swinging on a curveball in the dirt.

"I think the first at-bat was just a little bit of nerves and jitters," Alexander said, "especially with this being my first time playing in a collegiate league and me still being in high school.

"My second at bat approach was to hunt. I had to drive that guy in from second base. Fortunately, I was able to get a good swing on the ball and do my best to help the team."

Brycen Rearick followed with a base hit to right field, and after moving to second on a wild pitch, Troy Emert was intentionally walked to load the bases.

McCleester then drew four consecutive balls from new reliever Ben Tomb to force Alexander across, giving Martella's the walk-off.

"We kind of cruised after we got that five-run inning," McCleester said. "We got a little complacent. We able to rally together, though, and come through at the end to get this win. It's the first of many."

Three Mainline (0-1) errors helped push across five runs for Martella's in the bottom of the second. Garrett Greco's two-run single highlighted the frame.

Mainline, after going six up, six down through two innings, answered with two runs in the third on a single by Shiratoni and scored three more times in the third on a bases-clearing triple by Alex Glumac.

"Long story short, I think we just need to play a lot cleaner baseball," Mainline manager Tim Rubal said. "At the plate early on, we didn't have to good of at-bats until later on we started putting the bat on the ball. Defensively, three errors isn't going to help playing a team like Martella's. We just have to clean up our mistakes going forward and capitalize on the ones they give us."

Penn State Altoona hurler Kyle Glass earned the win in relief for Martella's (1-0) after throwing three innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four.

Dowey tallied two hits including a double to top Martella's. Mainline's Lenny Piccini was 2-for-3 with a double.

"In the seventh inning, we had our backs against the wall and we were forced to swing the bat," Pfeil said. "We just need to be aggressive throughout the game.

"We got a long way to go, though. It's a grind night in and night out. That's what makes AAABA the best league around."